Thematic Study on Work and Employment of Persons with Disabilities


The right to work is a fundamental right. It is essential for realising other human rights and forms an inseparable and inherent part of human dignity. Every individual has the right to be able to work, allowing him/her to live in dignity. The right to work contributes at the same time to the survival of the individual and to that of his/her family, and insofar as work is freely chosen or accepted, to his/her development and recognition within the community.

According to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), persons with disabilities have the right to work on an equal basis with others. This includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. Article 27 of the CRPD requires States parties to take adequate measures to safeguard and promote the realisation of the right to work of persons with disabilities, including

  • prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning employment, including conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement and safe and healthy working conditions;
  • protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances;
  • enabling persons with disabilities to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programmes, placement services and vocational and continuing training;
  • promoting employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the open labour market, both in the public and private sectors; and
  • ensuring that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace.

In its resolution 19/11, the Human Rights Council has requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a thematic study on work and employment of persons with disabilities, in consultation with States and other relevant stakeholders, including the International Labour Organization, regional organisations, the Special Rapporteur on Disabilities of the Commission for Social Development, civil society organisations, including organisations of persons with disabilities, and national human rights institutions.

OHCHR undertook a consultation process to gather relevant information as a basis for preparing the study. Official requests were been sent to States as well as to the other stakeholders identified in resolution 19/11. In addition, OHCHR is interested in receiving information from any other individual or organisation that wishes to contribute to the thematic study.

Submissions to the thematic study on work and employment of persons with disabilities

Human Rights Council panel discussion on the work and employment of persons with disabilities.